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Lessons From Indie Adventuring

Listen to them, professionals!

A while back I was ranting about how the indie developers creating AGS adventure games have a great deal to teach those currently making the games professionally. If you look in other areas of development this truth is beginning to emerge – major development studios are taking notice of indie teams, mimicking them, or even hiring them to creating games of a similar vibe (Dragon Age: Journeys being the most recent example of this). But adventure development still seems to be sticking to its non-indie guns. Which makes a couple of articles on A Hardy Developer’s Journal well worth reading for anyone making the genre professionally.

Ben Chandler (Annie Android, Shifter’s Box) and Joshua Nuernberger (La Croix Pan, Chatroom) have written articles for the site going into specific details of adventure game design, which make for essential reading.

Chandler writes about Planning The Journey, and packs it with smart thoughts on getting a game started, finding focus, and best of all, how listening to others is the way to understand how dialogue should work. It’s the first chapter in an on-going guide.

Nuernberger discusses the much more specific topic of Visually Directing The Player, a subject all games across all genres could do well to pay attention to. It’s the same advice Valve has been shrieking at anyone who’ll listen – that games can and should direct players without vocally telling them where to go, using lighting, design, and so on. Well worth a read.

Cheers to Igor for bringing this to our attention.

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run

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